What I'm about to tell you isn't ground-breaking, but it's important, so listen up: start foam rolling!
It's one of those things that seems like it would be simple and easy, but for some reason most people forget about or put it off because it seems like one more thing they need to add to an already-intense workout. But trust me, while the process may seem tedious, it works wonders for your body and mind. Here are five reasons to foam roll everyday and a few exercises you can incorporate into your routine.
1. Break up scar tissue.
Breaking up scar tissue and adhesions between the skin, muscles and bones is crucial for a healthy body. When you foam roll, you put targeted pressure on your fascia, releasing trigger points where you're feeling pain. The process relieves pain caused by shin splints and IT band syndrome, both of which are very common in runners, and more generally, usually clears up problems caused by tight fascia and muscles.
2. Improve your range of motion.
Foam rolling releases tension in the muscles, allowing the body to move more freely. This takes pressure off the joints and allows for more dynamic moves during physical activity. This is important for everyone from high level athletes to the weekend warrior.
3. Save money.
A massage is pricey and is not usually a weekly or daily occurrence. Fortunately, foam rollers achieve the same physical benefit as massage for a much cheaper price. A one-time purchase of a foam roller will give you hours of massage without putting a dent in your wallet.
4. Improve circulation and removes toxins.
The process of foam rolling stimulates the lymphatic system and helps push toxins out of the body. This helps with better oxygen delivery to the cells, improving circulation and rejuvenation.
5. Improve performance and speed results.
Starting and ending a workout with foam rolling is an ideal way to enhance the quality of the training session. When you start with foam rolling, you're getting rid of any stagnant energy in the muscles. It's a great way to prepare the body for movement and allows you to get deeper in each position. By ending the workout foam rolling, you'll recover faster and rebuild muscle. This leads to faster gains and better results.
Convinced? Here are two simple foam rolling movements you can do every day.
Quad Foam Roll
Start by coming onto your right side with the foam roller right under your right quad. Place all the weight into your hands and let your feet come off the ground. Slowly move the foam roller up and down the leg by shifting your weight forward and back.
Begin rolling the IT band (side of the quad) from your hip down to the knee. Once you've spent 30 seconds on that side, switch to the rectus femoris (front of the quad). After 30 seconds, switch to the adductor longus and gracillis (inside of the quad and groin). Repeat on the other leg. You can continue to switch back and forth between legs for however long you like.
Hip Foam Roll
Start by sitting on the foam roller with your left leg crossed over your right, hands directly behind you. Gently rock from side to side to release tight glutes. After 30 second switch sides.
Come onto your stomach with hands on the ground, foam roller under the iliacus (front of your hip). Gently roll this area out for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Nora Tobin is a NASM-certified personal trainer living in Santa Barbara, California. She is a health and wellness partner to Marriott International’s luxury brands and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Her company hosts luxury retreats, executive summits, and keynotes globally. Nora is also a Performance Enhancement and Nutrition Specialist, yoga instructor, and columnist. She’s received advanced certifications in helicopter, cliff, scuba and ocean rescue. She also hosts daily live yoga classes on her Instagram, open to all levels.